Our Say | Why should others have the monopoly on fun?

BOARD WALK: How I imagine the box of a localised Monopoly might look, with local landmarks, and photos I snapped of Campbelltown's own Julieanne Horsman at the races at Menangle, and Skando celebrating the 2005 win.
BOARD WALK: How I imagine the box of a localised Monopoly might look, with local landmarks, and photos I snapped of Campbelltown's own Julieanne Horsman at the races at Menangle, and Skando celebrating the 2005 win.

Christmas nears, so we’re officially in the Silly Season and Monopoly was the big story last week.

Campbelltown’s State MP Greg Warren wants a local edition of the famous board game and it drew more social media feedback than just about any other story.

Which is just fine, I reckon.

Predictably, there were a few cranky comments about how the MP should be focusing on “the real problems” or “tackling the real issues”.

Lighten up.

The truth is, Greg is always banging on about problems and funding shortfalls, so good luck to him for putting a smile on his dial before Christmas, and proving he can both walk and chew gum at the same time. (Whatever happened to easy-going, irreverent Australia?)

And credit where credit is due...for an essentially powerless opposition MP Greg has been surprisingly effective, such as more bus services for local students trying to get to Wollongong Uni.

And as for “real”…

Our, um, serious news at present is dominated by people such as ScoMo, Pauline “Dolores Umbridge” Hanson and Bill Shortfall – all of them ridiculous cartoon characters, involved in one comical farce after another.

And, for a supposedly silly topic, the Monopoly idea actually generated some pretty clever online comment. My favourite was from Brendan Leenders who offered suggestions for a Campbelltown Monopoly such as:

1. Mt Gilead – so I can build houses on it.

2. Queen St – so I can put hotels on it.

3. The tax position should be pawn shops and free Parking renamed fee parking.

Ouch. Mt Gilead, like Hurlstone Ag, was supposed to be protected as a green space, but both have been handed over to developers. Grrrr.

Queen Street’s beautiful old hotels were all bulldozed and now pawn shops and $1 shops (ugh) dominate the main street.

And maybe Mac Square and (potentially) Campbelltown Hospital are paying attention to his third point?

Some other comments included David Doyle’s suggestion of replacing Go To Jail with “Narellan Rd at Peak Hour”. Also Kelly Wilkinson’s observation of the rules: “No one would ever be able to afford any of the properties, we'd all be renters and the utilities would all be owned by foreign investors. Only the banks win.” Ouch again.

Others simply wanted to celebrate our culture with ideas such as Fiona Barenfeld’s Opportunity Card idea: “You get cast in a play at Campbelltown Theatre! Have another turn.” Aww, nice.

Greg Warren wants residents to contribute ideas and hopes it can come to fruition by next Christmas.

I’d actually suggest landmarks such has Glenalvon, Campbelltown Sports Stadium, Emily Cottage, Koshigaya Park, or the Catholic Club, instead of streets or suburbs. It could get contentious if, for example, Claymore was Whitechapel Road and Macquarie Links was Mayfair (not to mention the fact they’d have to have a boom gate and little uniformed border guards in front of the latter).

I saw a Beatles version of Monopoly that had albums and major singles instead of streets, a Yellow Submarine instead of a utility, and squares such as Taxman pay $200, and Ticket to Ride pay $100. Ho ho. Campbelltown could also inject topical humour into a local version. Maybe a Chance card that says: “Buy a motor registry so we can have one again”.

One online reader said they would buy Eschol Park House. Brendan Leenders replied: “You’re in luck - its up for auction.” Talk about art imitating life.

Greg Warren, it seems, can walk and chew gum at the same time.